Thursday, September 27, 2012

Announced! Fujifilm X-E1 Body & New Lenses

Fujifilm has announced the very interesting new X-E1 camera body, a “baby brother” to the excellent X-Pro1 interchangeable lens mirrorless camera. The key points are that it has the exact same superb 16 megapixel X-Trans sensor the the X-Pro1 has, with superb dynamic range, low noise and no anti-aliasing filter, resulting in very sharp images. In addition, the somewhat randomized layout of its colour filter array means it is extremely resistant to moiré. It is also more compact, in fact, it is pretty much the exact same size as the X100 and will also be offered in a similar silver & black, as well as all-black like the X-Pro1. Not only has it dropped in weight, it has also dropped substantially in price, coming it at $999 versus the X-Pro1’s price of $1,699.

With that much of a price drop, surely something had to go? Well, what did go is the superb Hybrid-VF that debuted in the X100 and carried over to the X-Pro1. In its place, there is an extremely high-resolution 2.4 million dot electronic viewfinder with superb optics and eye-relief. There is also a diopter adjustment dial once again, which the X-Pro1 did not have.

Two new lenses were also announced: an XF 14mm f/2.8 ultra-wide prime and an XF 18- 55mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS zoom. The 14mm, equiv alent to a 21mm on a full-frame body, promises superb image quality based on Fujifilm’s pub- lished MTF charts, and uniquely for the XF lens lineup at the moment, it also has a real focusing scale with depth-of-field markings. It will sell for $899. I am very excited about this lens personally and it might be enough to push me into finally investing in this new Fuji system!

Secondly, the 18-55mm stabilized kit zoom, equivalent to a 27-83mm zoom on a full-frame,also promises excellent optics and should out- perform most other equivalent kit lenses on other platforms. The XE-1 can be ordered with the 18-55mm as a kit, for only $1,399 which is a $300 savings over buying them together! On its own, the new 18-55mm will be $699. The new X-E1 and lenses will be shipping at the end of October.

Hands-on impressions will follow in another posting, but for some size comparisons I shot with a prototype X-E1, showing its size compared to an X-100 and an X-Pro1, see here...

The X-E1 body I handled was a prototype and it did not even have its front markings yet!

Here is the X-E1 compared next to an X100. They are very nearly the same size...

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